Sunday, January 29, 2006

Good Things.....


Okay, so I didn't know if this qualified for the Martha Cake Club site, because technically it isn't a "cake of the month." But I did have a "Martha made me do it" moment when I saw this new cake on the website for Martha Stewart Living. It is the Devil's Food Cake....and I have to say that it is really FABULOUS!!!! It was pretty easy to make, too. I halved it and baked it in my tiny little 5 inchers, and it was really cute because it was so small. But even with it as small as it was, we didn't even eat half of it! I made it for Chinese New Year's dinner as a special treat....and I most highly recommend it to anyone who loooooves chocolate....and I'm trying to tell you that it is soooooo good! I wish I could FedEx some to everyone to show you how it tastes, but maybe it would be a better idea to just try it yourself! So what do you think? Should I post it on the Martha blog?!?

Friday, January 27, 2006

SCOOTER

How many Americans can you fit on a scooter?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I fell and I can't get up........



HELP!!!HELP!!!ANYBODY.....

Cool Taiwan Pictures!!!!!

The Boat.


Flying Fish.

I hit this poor animal while riding on my scooter. He didn't have a chance. I didn't want to just leave him there so guess who is coming for dinner. No seriously--I think this is someones pet, but Krista thinks its a Chinese New Years dinner. It's like having a menu in front of your restaurant, what great advertizing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Our $60 Hot Chocolate....


Well, there are always stories to tell that we are not proud of...and this is one of them. We had a great day today, we took the scooters out for a spin...ate lunch at our favorite Spanish restaurant (I know, Spanish food in Taiwan...what can I say...it's good!), and rode out to ChiChin Island for a little sight seeing adventure. We were planning on going home to make dinner, but we wanted to stay out a little longer, to keep Madison awake since she had already missed her nap...and we figured we could wrangle an early bedtime if we kept her up long enough.

This is where we made a fatal decision...we decided to go to Starbucks to have some hot chocolate and cake....they make pretty decent cake, considering this is Taiwan...where "sweet" things like cake rarely have any sugar in them. Traffic is pretty heavy any time of day, but this is Friday, and it was about 5 pm...so the traffic and parking situation was less than ideal, but we managed to find a spot to park. It was among hundreds of other scooters and bicycles, so we figured we were safe.

Now is a good time to explain that we never really know where it is legal and okay to park here. I think that even if we could speak and read Chinese, we would still probably struggle with the parking situation. People are always just parked everywhere...so it is hard to tell what is illegal, and what is just inconvenient.

But, back to our story....so we find a place to park that looks decent, and go inside to enjoy our snack. It cost us a little less than $10 US for two pieces of cake and three hot chocolates. We realize that this is steep...but we don't do it very often...and since we are on vacation, we decided that we were going for it. Had we but known.....Brian went out to get my wallet out of the scooter at one point, and everything seemed just fine. Then....we finished our cake and went outside to drive off when Brian pointed out that our scooters were no longer there. "Hmmmm..." we thought...."maybe we shouldn't have parked there."

When your scooter is illegally parked here, a big truck with a giant hook on it swoops in and quickly snatches your scooter up and puts it on a truck with all the rest of the unfortunate scooters. They then write your license plate number on the ground in chalk, along with the telephone number of the towing company where you can find your vehicle. We have a cell phone...so normally we would have just called the towing place (or rather, called the number and hand the phone to someone who can speak Chinese), but by another unfortunate coincidence...it was in the scooter with my purse and Madi's jacket. Soo...we went back to Starbucks and told them what happened, and they called the towing yard for us.

Now is where we almost had a disaster. You see, to get your scooter or car out of the pound...you must have your ARC (like the US green card) and your registration, and your international driver's license. Hehe....okay, so we are borrowing our friend Erika's scooter while she is in the US, and we never carry our international licenses with us...because they are HUGE! And we don't carry the scooter registration.....because we are lazy...and we don't have Erika's registration. So we took a taxi to the scooter impound yard and did what any good American citizen in our sitution would do...we played stupid. Fortunately for us, no one there spoke any English...so it wasn't too difficult to talk our way out of showing them anything other than our ARC. It also helped that Madison is cute...and I swear that without her we would have been walking home from the impound yard. She just looks at the impound clerk and flashes her smile and says, "Ni how!" And they start gushing....and the next thing you know we are handing over our cash and getting our scooters! I really don't know what would have happened if they had actually made us give them the rest of the stuff, because we have no way of getting Erika's registration....and since it is her scooter....it would probably be still sitting there in the impound yard right now.

But, to summarize....our hot chocolate ended up costing us about $60 US....so we're pretty sure that tops off our Starbucks spending quota for the year. I'm just really glad that we got the scooters back....even if we did have to give them all our money!! So, the moral of the story is....only park waaaaaaay up on the sidewalk. That way the nice man with the hook on his truck can't reach your scooter to drag it off......

ChiChin Island


Today we took the scooters out to ChiChin Island...this little tiny place just off the Kaohsiung Harbor. It is cool because we got to ride our scooters right onto the ferry, and then we had them to ride all around the island. These pictures are of us up at the lighthouse, the highest place on the island...and you can see the city behind us (through the smog). If you look really close on the right side of the picture in the back you will see the 85 building...it was once the tallest building in the world... but was surpassed by the 101 in Taipei...and now I think that there is a taller one in Japan somewhere, but I'm not sure. Anyway, we are now officially on vacation! That is why we were able to go out exploring on a weekday...and we are finally getting to see things we haven't had time for until now...like the lighthouse on ChiChin island. It was actually an awesome view, and from the very top you could look out and see ocean for miles....well, until the smog was too thick to see through...but it was still impressive. Madison pointed out over the smog on the ocean and said, "That's where Grampa lives....waaaaaayyy over there!" It was funny. On the way back we took the underground tunnel...and drove our little motor scooters right under the ocean! I'll bet not too many people can say that they've driven under the ocean on a scooter.

Cheng Ching Lake Expedition

Here are some pictures of Cheng Ching Lake. It's cool and the best part is that it's freeeee, and right next to our house.
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Sunday, January 15, 2006

January's Cake Highlights

Here are all of the cool pictures that I didn't post on the Martha site.....enjoy!!!
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Our Source of Heat.....


and cooking....and hot water.....and endless fustrations.......

Monday, January 02, 2006


This was just cute....so I had to put it up.